Jason Crumer, "A Personal Hell"

cover imageOn this combination CDR and 7" single, Crumer continues to demonstrate why he’s so highly regarded in the noise scene.  The 7” channels the best elements of the junk metal and maxed out overdrive pedal style, while the CD takes a slow, droning direction to nicely contrast the cut up harsh stuff.
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9382 Hits

Robert Piotrowicz, "Rurokura and Eastern European Folk Music Research Volume 2"

cover imageThe latest release from this up and coming Polish sound artist steps away from his usual preference for walls of digital noise and instead plunders through tapes of traditional folk music for source material, leaving enough evidence of its pedigree there, but taking it to far off realms of sound.
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11462 Hits

Puerto Rico Flowers, "4"

cover imageWhile comparisons to Cold Cave are going to be somewhat inevitable in this day and age, this four track EP from Clockcleaner vocalist/guitarist John Sharkey III embraces the new wave nostalgia to some extent, but the result is closer to early '80s death rock than the more synth heavy projects, owing far more to the likes of Christian Death than New Order.
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12578 Hits

Harpoon/Locrian

At first blush, I thought this was an odd paring, given that Harpoon does competent grindcore punk/metal stuff while Locrian is known more for drone and experimental with just a hint of post-punk sensibility.  However, Locrian’s contribution to this 7" (plus digital) release is by far their most "conventional", and is not as an odd of a paring as I had expected.
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8717 Hits

Naam, "Kingdom"

cover imageWhen I first threw this 12" EP on the turntable I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The cover art gave me twinges of pretentious freak folk, while something in my gut said it was going to be another stagnant piece of guitar drone.  However, it is neither, and I was quite happily surprised by the unabashed noisy sludge rock that followed.
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9589 Hits

Sissy Spacek, "Epistasis"

cover imageOne look at the sleeve of this 7" gives a good indication of what to expect.  Being a 45rpm disc with 17 tracks total, it’s a good bet that the song list is really irrelevant.  Upon listening, it is pretty much impossible (and unnecessary) to know where the tracks begin and end.  But one thing is sure, it is a metallic grindcore blastbeat noise assault.
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12614 Hits

Horseback, "MILH IHVH"

cover imageFollowing his brilliant stoner rock by way of minimalist compositions album The Invisible Mountain, Horseback’s Jenks Miller has delivered another release of carefully calculated minimalism in the old school vein, but here with a bit more of a noise and shoegaze sense.
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12743 Hits

Stillbirth/Prurient, "The Mirror of Purification"

cover imageBoth artists on this brief 7" are going in directions that are perhaps unexpected with their sound, and that’s for the best.  The Stillbirth track mixes elements of traditional noise and bits of music, while Prurient’s work is an electro-acoustic collage with some overt synth work that’s not far from something that’d be heard from his work in Cold Cave.
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10732 Hits

Antoine Chessex/Arnaud Riviere

For its maiden release, the new Staalplaat sublabel Le Petit Mignon has issued this clear little 7" in gaudy, bright packaging with each of the artists tackling a side.  Between Chessex (Monno) abusing his saxophone and Riviere (Textile Orchestra) destroying an electrophone, the results is a precious few minutes of pure sonic destruction.
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10750 Hits

Liturgy, "Immortal Life"

This is definitely an odd little release, because it manages to not only be heavily laced with the standard black metal clichés (beyond lo-fi production values, metronomic drum machine, and indecipherable Cookie Monster vocals), but creates something different in the sum of its parts:  the parts are all there, but the sound is just somewhere out in left field, in a good way.
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10678 Hits

Locrian/Katchmare, "Drosscape/Scarab"

This odd little multicolored 7" record puts these two relatively young projects together, and demonstrates just how diverse the so called "noise" scene can be.  While both mix elements of contemporary drone, Locrian layers and moulds sound into structured chaos, while Katchmare focuses on simple, singular sounds to create an oddly toned piece of noise.
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9255 Hits

Emeralds, "Solar Bridge"

Usually I’d imagine something coming out on the Hanson label to be a bit more obtuse and rough than what is presented on this album.  Instead of leaning to the noiser end of the spectrum, the two side-long tracks here instead define themselves via classic analog synth drone that is so thick and sustained that it almost becomes tangible, yet never mundane.

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6019 Hits

Foreign Bodies, "Never Ready"

On ostensibly their first release, Foreign Bodies meshes '90s alternative rock, industrial, and hardcore punk thrash, and filters it all through a lens of Wolf Eyes scum noise (no doubt due to production assistance from Weasel Walter).  Needless to say, much is accomplished across these 10 tracks in 15 minutes.
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9983 Hits

Four Tet, "Ringer"

On this four track, half hour-ish EP, Kieran Hebden has created something that is for all intents and purposes, techno.  We in the field of music criticism hate such simplistic descriptions, and especially one such as that with some unintentionally pejorative connotations, but this is something that could easily get asses shaking at the disco or wherever the kids go to dance these days.  But, for all its 4/4 thumping, it is also an amazingly complex piece of programming and composition that is just as well suited for deep, headphone-centric analysis.
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9668 Hits

Jessica Bailiff and Annelies Monseré

There is the old adage that "brevity is the soul of wit" which, in some cases, may be true.  However, in the case of 16 minute EPs such as this, brevity is more of a frustrating tease than a positive quality.  This four track EP, recorded while Bailiff was touring Europe is such a purely compelling piece of work that it makes me wish it was a little bit longer. 

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9449 Hits

Map of the Universe, "Curse in Reverse"

While this review may seem a bit out of context to most Brainwashed readers, a closer listen to the seemingly pop elements of this demo reveal a greater depth, indicating the potential for great things.  

 

Sound Nutrition

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7644 Hits

Michael Yonkers/Little Claw split 7"

There is something to be said for Michigan and scuzz rock. Of course there is the obvious MC5 and Stooges, and the more recent Wolf Eyes, and then there's this odd little 7" single. 
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10225 Hits

D+D (Dereck Higgins+Dino Felipe), "D+D"

Public Eyesore 

On this very brief pink/red marbled vinyl 7", the two artists collaborate on a rather subtle work with both sides showing a very distinct character.  "Properties" is all stuttering electronics, field recordings, and other near-impossible to place sounds.  Squeaks, bangs, and a bit of guitar abuse sound like damaged childhood toys put out to pasture in a suburban parking lot to deliver their dying breaths.  The flipside, "Ribbons" is somewhat more conventional, based around guitar textures, electronic tones, and field recordings of birds and insects.  It's a bizarre set of recordings, but very compelling in their oddity and definitely worth checking out.

523 Hits

Doubled Yellow Swans, "Global Clone"

Another of the current crop of US noise projects, Yellow Swans focus more on establishing mood and texture as opposed to full out sonic assaults, and while still an acquired taste, here it's a bit easier to swallow.
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9258 Hits

The Machine Gun TV, "Go"

A short little burst of spastic drum machines, pop vocal loops and goofy samples are just primed to bring out the Great Cornholio in all of us.  And how can you NOT like an album with chicken and sheep sounds?
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8653 Hits